– Dipta Joshi
Bangalore-based online mentoring platform, MyCaptain (estd.2016) connects students with mentors from their field of interest enabling them to transform their passions into careers. With over 200 professionals from 40 plus fields mentoring students every month, MyCaptain has enabled 100,000 students to pursue alternate careers becoming published authors, stand-up comedians, music producers, photographers, film makers and entrepreneurs. Business World magazine selected MyCaptain’s CEO and co-founder, Mohammed Zeeshan in the 40 under 40 most impactful Education Entrepreneurs in India for the year 2020. In conversation with Education World, Zeeshan underlines the impact of the 2000 free live learning sessions held since the COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown in 2020.
How does MyCaptain’s mentoring work? Is the focus on alternate career paths only?
MyCaptain is an online learning platform that mentors and trains young students across traditional as well as alternative fields. It is done through synchronous and asynchronous learning that are both live and pre-recorded. We offer courses on photography, psychology, film making, game development, illustration doodling, programming languages and many more. The range of courses help students explore different fields at a very affordable price range.
Our fleet of captains (mentors), guide and mentor students in a step-by-step process throughout a month, starting right from the basics, to acquiring industry level knowledge in their fields of interest. This helps these students understand the real-world scenario of their chosen fields. Also, the mentors help these students go through projects in their fields that give them a practical understanding of the field. This also helps them build their CV for internship and freelance / job opportunities that we curate for them on a monthly basis, having partnered with internship and job providers from all across India.
MyCaptain has been recognised for its focus and contributions towards the United Nation’s SDGs (sustainable development goals) especially SDG 4: Quality education, SDG 8: Decent work & economic growth and SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals.
Tell us about the 2000 free learning sessions programmes introduced by MyCaptain.
During the lockdown and until now, we introduced ‘MyCaptain PowerTalks’. This was a series of 2000 free live learning sessions held throughout the year. Attendees have had a chance to interact and directly learn from reputed professionals and celebrities like Tanmay Bhat, Indian Youtuber, Karan Singh, CEO, Sunburn, Raghav Meattle, singer-songwriter and Jay Oza, cinematographer of the film ‘Gully Boy’. Through live sessions with them on our online platform, students learnt about building a YouTube channel, event management, composing songs, careers in marketing and cinematography etc. The sessions have all been a success with over 30,000 students signing up for these, and more than 65 percent of them attended.
Across India, MyCaptain seems to have a bigger presence in tier 2 cities. What, according to you, is the reason for higher sign ups tier 2 and 3 cities?
From August 2019-August2020 we have seen students sign ups from 500 plus cities across the country. In addition to this, we have ‘Campus Ambassadors’ present in 1000 plus campuses throughout the country. Yes, most of these are tier 2 cities. I believe, many of these cities lack opportunity and easy access to different career fields that students wish to explore. For example, it would be difficult to find an organisation within the city which would be offering a course in fields like film making, photography or even psychology for that matter. And this drives students to dive into online courses.
Another factor leading to more sign ups from tier 2 and 3 cities is that the youth in these cities are more aspirational. They are constantly consuming online content on different platforms and are aware about the available opportunities. There have been many success stories that have emerged from their neighbourhood which makes them even more driven to explore different opportunities. An aspirational youth is always more willing to learn and willing to explore opportunities. This drives them towards online courses like ours where everything they could wish to learn is available on a single platform.
Is MyCaptain going to add more courses in the future?
We have a 60 percent completion rate in our cases and an NPS (Net Promoter Score measuring the customer experience of the brand) of 58. This makes us one of the best education apps in the world. We want to transform MyCaptain to be an alternative education solution. MyCaptain will be a safe space for anyone to explore their interests, discover their passion and build skills to start a career in the same. By March 2022, MyCaptain 3.0 will have 90 plus beginner level courses, 200 plus free micro courses, 25 beginners to advance tracks, gamification and rewards, in order to make learning more fun.
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